Corporation aims to change people’s attitude towards business

Petrus Ralda

THE Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation (SMEC) wants to change Papua New Guinea attitudes to business, managing director Petrus Ralda says.
Through its five-year plan, it aims to teach about six million people by 2026.
“We hope to change the mind-set of the people at the rural level,” Ralda said.
“The perception, attitude of doing business, like our regional countries, similar economies in the world like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and some developing countries within the region, when children are born, they are born into a business, their business culture is very strong.
“In PNG, we learn about business at school. It is just theoretical business, but the entrepreneurial culture is not there.
“We are hoping to train six million-plus people by 2026, building an entrepreneurial culture at the community, at the ward level and that is what we want to achieve.”
Ralda said it was important for Papua New Guineans to know the difference between a business and their personal activities.
“In terms of SME development, we do have a long way to go, but what we are trying to do is create the growth of the SME sector at the ward level.”
Ralda said if they could train about six million people by the end of 2026, this would empower them to start and manage businesses properly.
“At the moment it is hand to mouth,” he said.
“People sell something but they have personal financial obligations as well.
“The money they make, they put it in a basket but when the personal obligations come, like compensation, bride price etc…they deep into the same basket.
“When the business obligation come, they do not have the money to grow and expend the business, so the most important thing is to build the entrepreneurship culture.”
Ralda said it was important to “change the foundation” and promote entrepreneurship at the community level.